After a bit of a break from blog post writing I’m back with the last of our 3 part series on the future of work. This post focusing on where we should be working from and I’ll admit up front, this will be a bit of a rant!
I really struggle to understand why this topic is even a thing at all! It seems pretty simple to me; if you’ve been working from home for the past 2+ years and done ok, what’s the business case to require you to come back? There simply isn’t one!
If you’ve worked in a place that requires your physical presence to do the work for the past 2+ years and done ok, what’s the business case to work from home? There simply isn’t one!
This isn’t to say people won’t try to create one, especially for the first point above. They will say we need you in an office (or wherever) for culture development, better communication, better innovation, better working relationships etc. etc. Most of these lame business cases are just hiding that the person wants you in their eyesight so they can more easily and readily apply their outdated and mainstream management practices!
So the best people just up and leave!
What the pandemic forced on us was the need to innovate to make remote work; work, on a large scale. Our company has been fully remote for 18 years, so have many others for a lot longer. All this huff and puff about remote work is pretty much an insult to us! Sorry it’s just not a business thing, it’s a preference thing.
I have little preference to work with people around me. My colleague has a greater preference for the opposite. So she belongs to her local Chamber of Commerce. She meets people for lunch or coffee regularly. Not so much with me. We both get our work done well. Both of us would probably like a hybrid working option but we’re way far apart geographically, so that’s not happening.
Some people will say that remote work is not good for some people, they become too isolated. Likely true. Of course there are probably just as many people that would say being in an office isn’t good either. They have an abusive boss, bullying colleagues, childcare costs and all that stuff we tried to put up with when remote work wasn’t an option.
It’s pretty obvious to me that if you don’t have a hybrid working option where it is possible you will lose people, probably your best people. Why make it a thing at all!
If it is a thing for you, it would be far more valuable to spend your time reflecting on why this is so. You’ll probably find you are hanging on to outdated thinking about management, leadership, organizations and what success means to people now. Then perhaps you can act on that stuff and make that a thing! A thing to change!
Author – Tom